A Glaswegian's War Diary
This is the First World War Diary of Robert Lindsay Mackay, OBE, MC, MB, CB, MD, D PH, giving an account of his day-to-day life with the 11th Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders from 1915-1918.
Glaswegian Robert Lindsay Mackay was born on the 30 July 1896. His father, George, was the youngest of 10 children and a woollen buyer for a warehouse, and married his mother Mary Lindsay, after a seven year engagement.
The Mackays lived only a half a miles from the University of Glasgow gates and until Robert was 28-years-old, expect for the three years he was at war, they always lived within the sound of the university bells. From Bank Street, the family moved to better flats at 138 Cambridge Drive then 11 Blythswood Drive and back again to Hillhead, to 9 Strathmore Gardens now 41 Hillhead Street.
"I learned every swear word then known, and much about the facts of life from my schoolmates, for boys and girls shared the same classrooms."
Robert matriculated at the University of Glasgow in 1914, though his classes in Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and Chemistry were at the Royal College of Technology. His studies were interrupted, however, by the outbreak of war and he enlisted. During the First World War, he served in the 11th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, holding the posts of Signalling Officer, Assistant Adjutant, and Platoon Officer, and achieving the rank of Lieutenant.
He subsequently became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Edinburgh and of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow.
He was a House Physician and House Surgeon at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow and then Physician at the Royal Hospital Wolverhampton and Guest Hospital, Dudley, England. He became a consultant at the Royal Hospital, Wolverhampton.
During the Second World War he served his country again, this time as a Lieutenant Colonel in the RAMC. He died in 1981. He was survived by his wife, fellow Glasgow graduate Margaret McLellan (who later died in 1993), and their children.
We would like to thank the Mackay family website - in particularly Robert's grandson Bob Mackay - for allowing us to reproduce his war diary and family photographs.